Scouts at the Showground
by John Robertson
Neville, our Chairman and a former Scout Commissioner, organised TMRFB participation in the Scout gathering at the Showground on 22nd March. The aim was to do things which were relevant to firies, were fun for the Scouts and provided nearly continuous action for all concerned with a minimum mere spectating. We had all three trucks there with Nev in 41, Robbo in 51 and Roger in 52. Brodie came in his smart ute and gave good backup. There were about 100 Scouts and parents present with the Scouts mostly being pre-teens. We started with a short briefing and during that all our pagers went off with a message from Firecom; “Best wishes to the Scouts on their 100th Anniversary in Queensland”. This was very well received and it was sent thanks to an excellent initiative by Roger.
Nev with 41 offered ‘water soccer’ with the players using partially filled backpacks to squirt the ball along. This went very well. 51 and 52 offered ‘spot fire extinguishment’ and ‘Chinese whispers’ with both activities running in parallel on each truck. The spot fires were witches hats set out in four lines of six in an X pattern running from the corners of each truck. Two rubber and two layflat hoses were used each ‘manned’ by teams of about 6 Scouts. One Scout worked the valve at the pump, one the branch and one put the hats back up after they had been knocked over. The others helped with moving the hose to and fro. As soon as all hats had been knocked over the team members changed places until everyone had a turn at everything. It was notable how quickly the youngsters got the hang of the thing and this was helped by some very good adults in the group. Needless to say some of those on the branch put as much water on their mates as on the hats.
Other Scouts on the truck did the Chinese whispers. This used VHF16 in the truck and on a handheld radio out on the ground. One Scout in the truck (using callsign Tamborine Mountain 51 or 52) sent a short firie message to another Scout (callsign Scout) up on the bank at the east end of the field. That Scout remembered the message, passed the handheld to the next in line and then came back to the truck. The accuracy of his/her message was checked and he/she then got in the truck and transmitted a message to the next Scout and so on until everyone had had a go at both roles. Those who had done the whispers became a hose team and vice versa. To give a realistic impression the trucks had their UHF sets ON with Firecom messages and both trucks were transmitting on VHF16. This was a very demanding situation for young kids but, thanks to good adult help on 51, they got the hang of it and their messages were remarkably accurate.
Everyone was very pleased with the event and the Scouts gave the Brigade a resounding B R A V O. We finished by handing out various firie books, transfers and stickers. A good day all round!